Chris Coleman (politician)

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Christopher B. Coleman
Chris Coleman (politician) Oct 30 2008.jpg
Coleman speaks at a campaign rally, 2008
54th Mayor of St. Paul
Assumed office
January 3, 2006
Preceded by Randy Kelly
Personal details
Born (1961-09-01) September 1, 1961 (age 57)
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Political party Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Spouse(s) Connie Coleman

Christopher B. "Chris" Coleman (born September 1, 1961) is a Minnesota politician and the mayor of St. Paul. He defeated incumbent mayor Randy Kelly in 2005 and took office on January 3, 2006.

Family and early career

Chris Coleman was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, as the son of Bridget Finnegan and Nicholas Coleman, Sr., who served as state senate majority leader from 1973 to 1981. Coleman attended Cretin High School in St. Paul. His brother Nick Coleman was a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and their stepmother, Deborah Howell, was an editor for the Minneapolis Star and the St. Paul Pioneer Press and an ombudsman for The Washington Post.[1] He is of no relation to former mayor and U.S. Senator Norm Coleman.

Coleman attended the University of Minnesota as both an undergraduate and law student. He then worked for eight years in Hennepin County as a public defender and prosecutor.[2] Proposals to build a metal shredder along the Mississippi River in Saint Paul inspired his first run for the Saint Paul City Council.[3] Coleman represented Saint Paul's Ward 2 from 1997 to 2003.[2] While on the city council he was also an investment management consultant specializing in nonprofit organizations and endowments for RBC Dain Rauscher.[4] He was also president of United Family Practice Medical Center.[2]

Coleman unsuccessfully sought the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) nomination for the United States House of Representatives seat in Minnesota's 4th congressional district in 2000.[5] Betty McCollum won both the nomination and the seat.


Coleman ran in the 2005 St. Paul mayoral election, challenging the DFL incumbent, Randy Kelly. Kelly had alienated supporters with his endorsement of George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election,[6] and national Democratic figures endorsed Coleman. Wesley Clark, John Kerry, and Bill Richardson visited St. Paul to campaign for Coleman, while Hillary Clinton and John Edwards actively supported him.[7][8] Coleman defeated Kelly in the general election, 69% to 31%.[9]

Shortly after taking office, Coleman signed a city ordinance banning tobacco smoking in all bars and restaurants within city limits.[10][11] The ban had long been opposed by former mayor Kelly.[12]

Coleman is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition,[13] an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas Menino.

Coleman worked with then Minneapolis mayor R. T. Rybak in bids to host a national party convention. St. Paul was selected as the site of the 2008 Republican National Convention.[14][15]

In 2009, Coleman was elected to a second term. He again received 69% of the general election vote, while his Republican opponent, Eva Ng, received 31%.[16] Coleman successfully sought a third term in 2013, defeating three challengers with 78% of the vote.[17]

Coleman also serves as President of the National League of Cities, with a term expiring at the end of 2014.[18]

2010 Governor's Race

In 2009, Coleman contemplated a bid for the DFL nomination for Governor of Minnesota in the 2010 election but withdrew from the race before formally announcing a bid.[19]


  1. Miller, Pamela; Tuss, Vince (2 January 2010). "Deborah Howell, prominent editor, killed in car crash". StarTribune. Minneapolis. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Chris Coleman for Saint Paul: About Chris". Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  3. St. Paul Mayor Coleman Born Into Politics, August 30, 2008, WCCO-TV
  4. Smith, Mary Lynn (21 November 2002). "St. Paul's Chris Coleman won't run again". StarTribune. Minneapolis. pp. B9. 
  5. Brown, Curt (5 February 2000). "DFLers race to succeed Vento". StarTribune. Minneapolis. pp. B1. 
  7. Slevin, Peter; Cillizza, Chris (6 November 2005). "A Bush Democrat May Lose His Way". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  8. Kerry stumps for St. Paul mayoral candidate Chris Coleman, Oct 10, 2005, Minnesota Public Radio
  9. "Minnesota Secretary of State Unofficial Results for City of Saint Paul-140". Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  10. Crosby, Jackie (12 January 2006). "St. Paul passes smoking ban". StarTribune. Minneapolis. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  13. "Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Members".  Retrieved on June 19, 2007
  14. Hotakainen, Rob; Diez, Kevin (28 September 2006). "GOP picks Twin Cities". StarTribune. Minneapolis. pp. A1. 
  15. Medcalf, Myron P. (17 December 2006). "Smooth start for Coleman, but some not satisfied". StarTribune. Minneapolis. pp. B1. 
  16. "Minnesota Secretary of State Unofficial Results for City of Saint Paul-140". Retrieved 5 June 2010. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Randy Kelly
Mayor of St. Paul
2006 – Present
Succeeded by